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Apr 19, 2021 - 7:53:04 AM
204 posts since 3/9/2017

Thats 'Shackleton Banjos' not 'The Shackleton banjo'
Seen a few come up for sale recently, does anyone have any experience of them, in particular the openbacks?

Apr 19, 2021 - 10:38:47 AM

2095 posts since 2/12/2009

I have seen and played one, dont know which model but it was open back and not terribly fancy, I thought it was very "ordinary" not too dissimilar to a Goodtime, not bad but, not particularly exciting, very like many imports you could find at any Hobgoblin shop . It had a slotted headstock if I recall correctly, the owner however loved it !

Apr 19, 2021 - 10:45:46 AM

JSB88

UK

204 posts since 3/9/2017

Thanks. I have an irrational prejudice against them, which I can't understand. It could be the odd headstock (I assume 'slotted' is like a classical guitar sorta thing) or a slight feeling they are all marketing over substance, which considering the price new (not that you can get them new) seems likely if you say they are on a par with a Goodtime.

Apr 19, 2021 - 12:43:06 PM

1120 posts since 1/9/2012

I wish more people knew about The Shackleton [Hussey] Banjo. That's a great story.

Apr 19, 2021 - 1:03:47 PM
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JSB88

UK

204 posts since 3/9/2017

It is. And maybe thats another thing prejudicing me against them, that they co-opted the name and associated heroics to simply help their marketing

Apr 21, 2021 - 4:50:09 AM

3465 posts since 4/29/2012

Played a few at their stand at the Folk East festival a few years ago. Attractive (to some) and quirky design, but as far as sound and general feel goes, if I was playing it with my eyes closed I could have, as Nick said, been playing a Goodtime. Nothing wrong with a Goodtime - I've got one as a travel banjo, but it's a lot cheaper than a Shackleton and even then expensive for what it is. Must admit I wasn't surprised when they ceased production as I was always unsure about who would buy one rather than spending a lot less on a perfectly serviceable banjo or not much more on a proper boutique banjo.

Apr 21, 2021 - 5:16:36 AM

2095 posts since 2/12/2009

I was gifted a private viewing of Leonard Husseys banjo a couple of years ago by a good friend, you need to make an appointment to see this instrument explaining why you wish to see it, it is not on public display ! As a longtime enthusiast for all things related to the Shackleton expedition it was quite a thrill for me to get up close and personal to this banjo, to be allowed to examine it and read all the signatures on the vellum also the obvious water damage where it was strapped to the side of a sledge, a day to remember for sure . I too baulked slightly at the name of Shackleton being used to market what was in my opinion a not particularly special instrument !

Apr 21, 2021 - 10:21:38 AM

JSB88

UK

204 posts since 3/9/2017

That must have been quite an experience, all that human endeavour (no pun intended) personified in an object. I don't suppose it was in playable condition?

Apr 21, 2021 - 10:39:12 AM

6124 posts since 9/21/2007

Thankfully no US banjo maker has co-opted a previous name to market banjos under. ;-)

Edited by - Joel Hooks on 04/21/2021 10:39:29

Apr 21, 2021 - 11:28:29 AM

2095 posts since 2/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

Thankfully no US banjo maker has co-opted a previous name to market banjos under. ;-)


The list is quite a long one, it starts with Orville Gibson, Leo Fender, Fred Gretsch, George Washburn, even Snuffy Smith still sells bridges  ;- ) oh and, Henry Ford died too !

Apr 21, 2021 - 11:29:47 AM

6124 posts since 9/21/2007

I was thinking Vega.

Apr 21, 2021 - 11:32:54 AM

2095 posts since 2/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by JSB88

That must have been quite an experience, all that human endeavour (no pun intended) personified in an object. I don't suppose it was in playable condition?


For me it was a wonderful experience, I have also met Tom Creans grandson and the great nephew  of Lionel Greenstreet was a buddy of mine, both members of Earnest Shackletons crew on that fateful voyage. It was reasonably playable it just needs a decent bridge (it currently has a modern Grover) a decent set of strings and it would be easily playable, the neck remains straight and even the vellum is tolerably tight !

Edited by - spoonfed on 04/21/2021 11:35:42

Apr 21, 2021 - 11:33:26 AM

6124 posts since 9/21/2007

I don't know about Washburn or Gretsch, but Gibson, Fender, and Ford are constant companies. They did not go out of business with their name registered as a trademark by a different company.

Apr 21, 2021 - 11:39:49 AM

2095 posts since 2/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

I don't know about Washburn or Gretsch, but Gibson, Fender, and Ford are constant companies. They did not go out of business with their name registered as a trademark by a different company.


Fender sold out to CBS in 1965, besides the larger point still remains, the portfolio of a company may change hands frequently without most consumers noticing, I understand exactly your point too and, the company you referenced.

Apr 21, 2021 - 1:40:16 PM
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Fathand

Canada

11736 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

Thankfully no US banjo maker has co-opted a previous name to market banjos under. ;-)


:)

Apr 22, 2021 - 3:03:45 AM

JSB88

UK

204 posts since 3/9/2017

Its not so much reviving a name as the name they took. Not an illustrious instrument maker but an adventurer who organised the survival of a group against insurmountable odds. Just to market their product. And it wasn't even Shackletons banjo!

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